Joseph Freinademetz (1852 - 1908) from Oies in the Alta Badia was sainted by Pope John Paul II in 2003
Josef (Ujöp, in Ladin) Freinademetz was born on April 15, 1852, in Oies - a hamlet of a few farms belonging to the municipality of Badia - as the forth child of a peasant family. On July 25, 1875, he was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Bressanone. For a period of two years he hold the priesthood in San Martino in Badia, soon after he decided to leave the beloved Val Badia in order to go to Steyl in Holland and become a missionary. In 1879, he travelled to Hong Kong and China.
In China, the priest was exposed to different dangers, but fully dedicated his life to his devotion. His profound belief let him escape poverty and diseases. Nevertheless, in 1908 he died in Taikia of epidemic typhus.
Since 1939, there are proves for the miracles he worked and thus he was beatified by Pope Paul VI in 1975 and sainted by Pope John Paul II on October 5, 2003. His birth house in Oies has become a popular pilgrimage site. In his room numerous items like Chinese dresses as well as letters are exhibited. In 1995, a memorial church was built next to his birth house.